Gaelic Studies and Language & Linguistics at Aberdeen combines all the advantages of the in-depth study of the language, literature and culture of Scotland’s oldest language – as a native speaker or complete beginner. The programme offers a fascinating exploration of how human language evolved, how we learn languages and how they differ and change over time. You will gain the all-round knowledge and skills to open up a wide variety of careers.
This programme is studied on campus.
We have been teaching Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) and culture for a hundred years, led by teachers and researchers passionate about Gaelic and whose work directly influences Scottish policy on keeping Gaelic alive, healthy and important in Scotland today.
You will learn more about Scotland's oldest living language and develop your Gaelic skills in a friendly and supportive environment, with opportunities to get involved with northern Scotland’s Gaelic-interest community through clubs, activities, networks and organisations.
Language & Linguistics takes you on a deeper exploration of language, analysing this fascinating human attribute to understand ourselves and human societies more fully. You will study how the brain processes speech and language, how we acquire languages as children and adults, how they vary and change over time, social factors and different dialects of English.
Our understanding of language grows all the time with new discoveries in neuroscience, animal behaviour, archaeology, sociology and psychology, bringing new applications of linguistics in industry, medicine and forensic science.
This subject combination will make you very attractive to employers, especially in media, advertising and marketing, information and communication technology, publishing, language teaching and health-related professions such as speech and language therapy.
Key Programme Information
At a Glance
- Learning Mode
- On Campus Learning
- Degree Qualification
- 48 months
- Study Mode
- Full Time
- Start Month
- UCAS Code
What You'll Study
- Year 1
- Academic Writing for Language & Literature (AW1008)
This compulsory evaluation is designed to find out if your academic writing is of a sufficient standard to enable you to succeed at university and, if you need it, to provide support to improve. It is completed on-line via MyAberdeen with clear instructions to guide you through it. If you pass the evaluation at the first assessment it will not take much of your time. If you do not, you will be provided with resources to help you improve. This evaluation does not carry credits but if you do not complete it this will be recorded on your degree transcript.
- Professional Skills Part 1 (PD1001)
This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.
This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students and above, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.
- Gaelic Scotland (GH1015) - 15 Credit Points
Gaelic is Scotland's oldest living language. In this introductory course you will learn about the Gaels, their history and their role in the shaping modern Scotland. You will also learn about how Gaelic language and culture became minoritised in its own country. Students will learn learn about various contemporary initiatives that are aimed at saving and promoting this indigenous language and culture and this will be compared to minority languages and cultures elsewhere in the world.
- English Structure and use (LN1003) - 15 Credit Points
This course opens up new ways for students to think about language by introducing them to the fundamentals of English linguistics. Students will learn how to identify and analyse the major "building blocks" of language in phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Examples for illustration and discussion will be drawn from varieties of English spoken in the British Isles and worldwide, with lectures and tutorials geared to providing students with an active vocabulary with which to discuss language, and essential tools with which to analyse its structure and function.
- English Past and Present (LN1502) - 15 Credit Points
How do we get from Chaucer to Twitter? From Beowulf to Beyoncé? This course will look at the development of English over the last millennium and beyond, examining language changes in sound, structure and meaning. Students will also be introduced to present-day sociolinguistic study, and how it can to our understanding of language in the modern world and in the past.
Select one of the following options:
- Gaelic for Beginners 1A (GH1007)
- Gaelic for Beginners 1B (GH1507)
- Gaelic Language 1A (GH1013)
- Gaelic Language 1B (GH1513)
Plus select further credit points from courses of choice to reach 120 credit points.
- Gaelic for Beginners 1a (GH1007) - 15 Credit Points
This is an 11-week course in the modern Scottish Gaelic language for students who have little or no prior experience of the language, or for students with no formal qualifications in Gaelic.
You will learn Gaelic through a mixture of interactive language classes, a class which focuses on conversational skills, and a programme of homework exercises, together with self-directed learning.
By the end of the course, you will be able to speak, read, write and understand Gaelic at a basic level and you will have mastered a large working vocabulary.
- Gaelic for Beginners 1b (GH1507) - 15 Credit Points
This is an 11-week course in the modern Scottish Gaelic language for students who have completed GH1007 Gaelic for Beginners 1A.
You will attend three interactive language classes and one conversation class each week, as well as undertaking self-directed learning.
By the end of the course you will be expected to have mastered a large working vocabulary and to be competent in understanding and using most of the major structures of the language.
- Gaelic Language 1a (GH1013) - 15 Credit Points
This is a Gaelic language course for students who are relatively fluent in the language already and have studied it to at least Higher in school (Higher Gaelic or Gàidhlig) or have studied it to a similar level elsewhere.
- Gaelic Language 1b (GH1513) - 15 Credit Points
This is the second-half of the first year Gaelic language course for students who are relatively fluent in the language already and have studied it to at least Higher in school (Higher Gaelic or Gàidhlig) or have studied it to a similar level elsewhere.
- Year 2
- Gaelic Folklore (GH2006) - 15 Credit Points
This course is an introduction to the wonderful world of Gaelic folklore. The course will look at the traditional belief systems of the Scottish Gaels with regard to the second sight, fairies and the supernatural. Students will learn about folk healing and rituals about birth, death and marriage. Additionally students will look at some examples of traditional Gaelic stories, handed down for hundreds of years before finally being written. Students will learn about the different Gaelic song types and traditions. In looking at the songs and stories, students will also learn about the people who collected these folk items.
- Introduction to Scottish Gaelic Literature (GH2514) - 15 Credit Points
This survey course is an introduction to Scottish Gaelic literature from the 17th century to the modern day. Scottish Gaelic has one of Europe's oldest secular literatures and this is an exciting choice for anyone with an interest in Scotland's history, literature and culture: it is taught using translated texts and originals for those whose Gaelic language is good enough. Students will gain new perspectives on key areas of Scottish society such as Jacobitism, the Clearances, the Highland Land Wars, the Celtic Twilight Movement and the Gaelic renaissance in the modern period. This course is suitable for anyone in Programme Year 2 with an interest in Scottish society.
Select one of the following options:
- Gaelic for Advanced Beginners 2A (GH2009)
- Gaelic for Advanced Beginners 2B (GH2509)
- Gaelic Language 2A (GH2013)
- Gaelic Language 2B (GH2513)
Plus further courses of choice to make up 120 credit points.
- Gaelic for Advanced Beginners 2a (GH2009) - 15 Credit Points
This is the second year Gaelic language course for people who started learning in their first year. It builds on the foundations already set in the first year and continues to develop vocabulary, grammatical structures and idioms in both writing and speech.
- Gaelic for Advanced Beginners 2b (GH2509) - 15 Credit Points
This course follows on from GH2009 and is for people who started learning in their first year. It continues to develop a range of linguistic competencies in written and oral language.
- Gaelic Language 2a (GH2013) - 15 Credit Points
This is the second year Gaelic language course for students who are relatively fluent in the language already and have studied it to at least Higher in school (Higher Gaelic or Gàidhlig) or similar level. It follows on from GH1513.
- Gaelic Language 2b (GH2513) - 15 Credit Points
This is the second half of the second year Gaelic language course for students who are relatively fluent in the language already and have studied it to at least Higher in school (Higher Gaelic or Gàidhlig) or similar level. It follows on from GH2013.
- Year 3
- Gaelic Language A (GH3022) - 30 Credit Points
A level three Gaelic language course for students taking honours Gaelic. The course runs over both semesters and is topic based, enabling students to develop their ability to deal with a large range of subjects in Gaelic. The course also develops students' generic writing and oral skills.
Select further courses in Level 3 Gaelic to make up 60 credits in the discipline, plus 60 credit points from level 3 courses in Language and Linguistics courses.
- Year 4
- Gaelic Language B (GH4022) - 30 Credit Points
A level four Gaelic language course for students taking honours Gaelic. The course runs over both semesters and is topic based, enabling students to develop their ability to deal with a large range of subjects in Gaelic. The course also develops students' generic writing and oral skills.
Select one of the following dissertation options:
- Dissertation in Gaelic Studies (GH4507)
- Dissertation in Language & Linguistics (LN4012)
Plus select further courses in level 4 Gaelic and level 4 Language and Linguistics to make up 60 credits in each discipline.
- Dissertation in Gaelic Studies (GH4507) - 15 Credit Points
The dissertation course for honours Gaelic students is student-led. Students decide in consultation with academic staff what topic they would like to research and write about for their final dissertation. Students can chose any topic from the broad field that is Gaelic studies, including topics related to: Gaelic literature (a writer or a theme), Gaelic sociolinguistics, language planning, Gaelic cultural practices, etc.
- Dissertation in Language and Linguistics (LN4012) - 30 Credit Points
Once you have successfully completed three years of university-level study of Linguistics, this course allows you to develop and carry out an independent piece of research on a topic of your choice. It might be that a particular taught course has inspired you to explore a topic in more depth; your own reading might have prompted you to wonder about a particular question. You will be supervised by a member of the department who will be happy to give advice and support as you complete your dissertation of 7000-8000 words.
The Dissertation spans HS1 and HS2.
We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
How You'll Study
- Individual Projects
Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:
- Coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course.
- Practical assessments of the skills and competencies they learn on the course.
- Written examinations at the end of each course.
The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, years of study and individual courses.
Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.
- View detailed learning and assessment information for this programme
How the programme is taught
The typical time spent in scheduled learning activities (lectures, tutorials, seminars, practicals), independent self-study or placement is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.
How the programme is assessed
The typical percentage of assessment methods broken down by written examination, coursework or practical exams is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.
Learning Methodscheduled: 25%
Learning Methodscheduled: 18%
Learning Methodscheduled: 14%
Learning Methodscheduled: 10%
Why Study Gaelic Studies and Language & Linguistics?
Why Gaelic Studies
- Strong tradition of commitment to Gaelic, and a University Gaelic Language Plan to promote and develop Gaelic in the University in line with the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005.
- Close links with the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies, and its literary magazine, Causeway / Cabhsair, which frequently includes poems and short stories from established and new Gaelic writers.
- Student-run Celtic Society famous for its musical events, ceilidhs and trips, and a great opportunity to use Gaelic in an informal, social context.
- The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, with an extensive Gaelic collection and treasures, including the 10th century Book of Deer with some of the oldest examples of Gaelic writing to have survived from medieval Scotland.
- An intensive summer school, giving students the chance to practise their Gaelic language skills in a friendly, natural environment.
- A strong Gaelic theme in the Universityâ€™s popular May Festival at which thousands attend to hear world-famous authors, poets, public figures, scientists and other experts, and debate big issues in arts, literature, and current affairs.
- A warm welcome for students whatever your level of Gaelic, and long-standing experience in teaching this fascinating language to complete beginners.
Why Language and Linguistics
- A vibrant linguistics research and teaching community, and the benefits this study brings to other subjects such as modern languages, anthropology, sociology and history.
- Researchers revealing new insight into how spoken English is changing, including evidence gathered from tracking TV and radio soaps over the years.
- Major research partnerships such as the study of witness testimonies following the 1641 Irish Rebellion, with language revealing the social, economic, cultural and political situation in 17th century Ireland, giving clues on sectarianism today.
- Award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library with top-class study facilities and literary treasures collected over 500 years charting the power of the written word from ancient papyri and medieval manuscripts to contemporary e-books and other media.
- A packed campus programme of events, exhibitions, invited speakers and the annual May Festival which attracts internationally acclaimed authors, broadcasters and public figures to discuss the written and spoken word in various languages.
The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.
General Entry Requirements
- 2020 Entry
Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.
Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.
Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.
32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL.
Irish Leaving Certificate
5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above).
Entry from College
Advanced entry to this degree may be possible from some HNC/HND qualifications, please see www.abdn.ac.uk/study/articulation for more details.
The information displayed in this section shows a shortened summary of our entry requirements. For more information, or for full entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees, see our detailed entry requirements section.
English Language Requirements
To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:
OVERALL - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0
OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21
OVERALL - 54 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 51; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54
Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:
OVERALL - 169 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169
Fees and Funding
You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.
Most RUK students (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) on a four year honours degree will be eligible for a full-fees waiver in their final year. Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.
|Home / EU||£1,820|
|Students Admitted in 2020/21|
|Students Admitted in 2020/21|
International non-EU Applicants
- In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
- For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.
Our Funding Database
View all funding options in our Funding Database.
There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers and Employability Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.
Information About Staff Changes
You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
Get in Touch
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University of Aberdeen